The Suffering

‘Tis the season, readers of mine.

September Scares

October ghOuls (don’t judge)

December Death

Fall Frights

In other (better) words: THE SCARY BOOKS ARE BACK, PEOPLE.

This one is going to be one of the best. Just you watch.

24789796

The Suffering

  • Author: Rin Chupeco
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre vibe: Horror, of course
  • At a glance: Things have been pretty normal for Tark since book one. He’s got a ghost now, and she’s a professional murder, and things are fine. He’s a budding exorcist and he and Callie are going to Japan soon. Then Kagura disappears, along with the cast and crew of an American ghost hunting TV show. Tark, Callie, and Okiku go looking for them, in the depths of Japan’s Suicide Forest. Things go straight down from there.

So I’m sure at least some of you remember The Girl From the Well. It was my first favorite book from last year, and while this one didn’t have the good timing to gain that title for itself, it’s certainly one of my favorites.

This book is a lot of things. Freaking terrifying is among them. Both Suffering and Girl from the Well rank up with Kendare Blake’s Anna books for books-that-made-me-gasp-in-horror-the-most. Tame ghosts do not walk these woods.

Which means that the pure scare factor in this book is one of its biggest strengths. Upon reaching Japan and searching for Kagura, Tark gets…transported, to the very place that Kagura and co. were supposed to be exploring, and went missing on the road to. Now Tark is trapped there with a myriad of distasteful spirits that have a penchant for madness and just the right kind of energy to drain Okiku’s power.

I’ll be honest: this book made me scream. On one or two occasions, it startled me enough that I jumped in my seat. On one or two more, it was so creepy that I had to just stare at it for a minute and wonder how. And on a lot of others, it unsettled me. Deeply. This is a book that has the chill up the spine feeling very much under control. There isn’t ever a dull moment: everything in this book is scary.  And topping it all off is Chupeco’s beautiful writing, Tark’s voice, and the certain kind of experimental

weirdness

that

we’ve

discussed on this blog before.

The developing relationship between Tark and Okiku is one of my favorite things that this book had to offer. At school, a girl is edging closer and closer to Okiku’s host–and she’s jealous. But she also can’t stand that she’s part of the reason Tark can’t have this other girl. Put simply: Ki is a mess. I felt so bad for her throughout the whole book that sometimes all I wanted to do was rescue her, no matter how much Tark cared for her.

Which also means, the ending of this book killed me.

I won’t say anything. Because I want every single one of you to read it.

But it killed me. I’m writing this from beyond the grave. Let it be known that I died weeping bittersweet tears.

I don’t know. I love ghost stories. And this is up there with the best of ’em.

So overall:

  • Rating: 5/5 stars
  • Recommended to: If you like scary things: come. Join me in the pages of this book.
  • Lasting impression: The creeping feeling. The kind that means you know something is wrong, wrong wrong. And you just don’t know what it is.
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